KARMEN PONDER-MOORE is a senior at Northeast Academy of Health Sciences & Engineering in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Known as a peacemaker in a school that embraces diversity, Karmen, in her role as a Student Council officer, serves as a liaison between the students and the school administration. Karmen displayed the qualities that have earned her this honor in a February, 2001 ceremony marking the opening of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Center, dedicated to the victims of the 1995 bombing. There, she addressed a crowd of 5,000, including President Bush. She spoke of the importance of love overcoming hatred, saying, “We must always pray and have faith and trust in God. We must live everyday with an attitude of gratitude.” Karmen has since participated in many public speaking events, including the FACT Conference – Females Addressing Challenging Times, the Black Lawyers Association, and the Oklahoma City Public School Board of Education. Karmen has demonstrated her tireless devotion by participating in numerous community service projects, including Fundraising for Hurricane Katrina Victims, the Northeast Academy Blood Drive, Infant Blood Drive Recruiter, Christmas in a Shoe Box - Toys for Homeless Children, UNICEF, and Meals on Wheels, preparing and delivering food to those in need.
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